Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So. I've had two blue days. I missed a wonderful evening of conversation and wine with my friend Apatx Latorre. Now. I've told you about him before. I met him at Gala Corina in the Fall when we both had works displayed. I told you about how taken I was with the womanist symbology in his painting "The River".

He wanted to show me a commission painting completed before it went to its new home in Puerto Rico. We were supposed to get together this past Saturday to share wine and ideas. I have a car. It is a free car. The story is too long to tell except that it has been a good and dependable car. Up until about 3 weeks ago.

Overnight it develops this burp fart car thing when I try to start it. Sometimes I'm lucky and can get it to run so that I'm not totally a home bound agoraphobic. Most of the time it's a dud start out of the gate. So I missed my evening with Apatx after 40 minutes of cussing and pleading. I didn't get to see his new painting in person. I didn't get to uncork my most favorite red wine I bought for us to share, Rex Goliath pinot grigio.

So. Here is Apatx (isn't he gorgeous??!!), his paintings including The River and the new one that miraculously turned up on my computer in an email that wasn't there before (aren't they just stunning?), and a picture of the bottle of Goliath I bought to go share with my wonderful friend this past Saturday when the rice rocket wouldn't start. I figured if I shared it with all of you, I'll get over the black ass that ensued when I couldn't see him and share one on one.

The fancy wine glasses are from my altar. They are ritual juggernauts that I use to invoke creativity, The Quarters, Passers-by in the Cosmic Cotillion, etcetera. Mostly etcetera. The heavily beaded one is mine. The simple gold leaves and stems with vines was done by Natalya Kashalova Shanahan, my one and only ever apprentice taken on in all the years of design work I've done, my little Bear from Belarus, my Talika. I used that to represent Apatx and his soulful paintings. Symbolic digital wine sharing.

I'm in the cups. Can't bring myself to open the Rex but wanted to show Apatx I was sincere. The rice rocket goes into the shop tomorrow. I don't dare reschedule with the Padowan Artist again until I can follow through with plans to get my hands on him and his art with a car that works when the keys go in.

I also have a vase of rooting plants for him for his garden. All of it will come together sometime soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shameless Plug For Cheap And Uppity Craft Supplies

Found this Save On Crafts place online and am still drooling and oggling every item and every page! I want one of each! Warning: Totally addictive purchasing may follow out of control inspiration!
I am swiping some of their classy pictures of items to show you. I don't think they'd mind the free advertising!
Beautiful items, incredible prices and classy layout - An artist/crafter's paradise!
Oh! I need some of dese, and one of those, and yes, definitely several of dem.......

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Off In The World

Maman Brigette Veve 3 1/2" X 5" ACEO Fetish Series #1 of 6 and the Veve' drawn on the ACEO face SOLD

#4 New Orleans Blues Fetish
5 1/2" X 8" Fiber Hanging

Two of my fiber pieces sold while I was busy costuming. I'm happy to see them go to their new owners. This has prompted me to get back to art in between beads and cloth.

As I sat here sharing a cup of coffee with a mosquito I thought of another avenue I'd like to explore. I'm newly back in love with airbrushing and also love the colors and grittiness of rust and dirt dyeing. Maybe I'll combine all of them with some stones and see what happens. I wonder if you can airbrush tea and coffee?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Project

Believe it or not, I'm still tweaking Cindy's stripper costume and working on another: A 1930s dress and hat for her daughter. But I also had something new come in the door. Her name is Charlotte.

Cindy and I found her abandoned on the side of the road. She's skinny, wormy and has conjunctivitus but is a sweetie. A little on the blonde side, though. If you set her down somewhere, she'll stay until you come and get her -- including the cat box. She's a toe sucker and will dive under covers to find them. She has her own method. She must put as much of the toe in her mouth as she can and then she nips. You can see how thin she is from her protruding leg and hip bones, but I'm fattening her up. She's also been wormed and I'm putting antibiotics in her eyes. I don't need another cat! Especially since all of the neighborhood cats have decided that my place is the Sandals Resort and hang out here.

I will be starting a new textile series of work soon. I'm excited!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Final Construction Pictures

Slid into home with the costume at 5:00 Friday afternoon. About 2 hours before the performance. My life as a dare devil, adrenaline stunt junkie. I started this project about March 15th and have been working steadily since then. These final two weeks have been hectic!

This is basically just a gallery of pictures from the last week of construction. I'm too tired to do much more. I sewed two feather boas together....

And added a beaded tassel to the ends for the piece that Tessie hands Gypsy in the final act as Gypsy goes on stage for the first time.

I sewed two springs each on the bra butterflies and stitched cord elastic on either side of the skirt butterfly like struts. This really makes them move like crazy when Cindy dances as Tessie. One of them broke during dress so I reattached it by sewing through the length of the spring from the butterfly to the bra.
This is the finished headpiece with ends trimmed and finished in the brocade, edges beaded and a bead piping to hide the join of the leather to the brocade.

Here's a closer picture of the headband edging and beaded piping.

This is the Flexifirm or Trimtex backing on the skirt that supports the 2 pounds of beads and the heavy butterfly. I stitched it to the inside top of the skirt at the waistband, stitched through the butterfly with a heavy duty leather needle pulling it through with pliers. The thread is doubled, waxed heavy polyester Guterman. The picture was taken before I attached the two side struts of elastic.
I airbrushed some markings on the wings and hand painted others. Embellished with gold and silver foiling and crystal stones. Covered the glue boogers up with Guterman microfine glitter. You can never catch enough lights.

See them stones! See them glitters! See the mess I made?

Back view of the wings. I put bias godets at the center back to fill in space. They look terrific when they move. Note on sewing silk gauze. Save yourself some headaches. Set your machine to a close and wide zigzag stitch and zigzag the finished edges as you roll the edge of the silk in front of the feed dogs. If you pull on a bias edge, you'll get this fluting as seen in the picture below. The seams end up being about 3 mm wide and almost disappear!
This is the outside wing shape. Lighter areas of violet are airbrushing - not finished. Not shown are the silk skirts on the back of the bra and the cascades on the brocade skirt.

This week I work on an extra 1930s dress and cloche hat for Sky. I will do a bit more embellishment on the silk to finish the costume for Cindy. Hope to have a picture of Cindy in full regalia shortly.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Greetings From My Planet

I truly have been working hard on the costume rushing to get it finished and on Cindy by performance this coming weekend. Altered a skirt and blouse set for Cindy's daughter Sky to wear as one of the Hollywood Blondes in Gypsy. Got that done early this morning and then went back to work on Cindy's.

I've backed the butterflies with purple felt, chalked out the wing design on the silk, put the placket and the elastic in the skirt, and cut the Firmatex backing that will support the butterfly and beads on the skirt. Now I'm working on the headpiece.

Cindy found this leather belt with silver glitter on it and I applied it over the brocade on top of a padded headband. The antennae are made of three ab chenille pipe cleaners that I twisted together and beaded with crystals. I pushed the ends through the belt weave and twisted them in place and applied a ton of glue.

Use 527 Multi Purpose Cement from Bond to glue leather and fabric to any plastic or wood surface. I will glue and wrap the edges down after I've done the beading and finish the ends of the leather. Bead tassels will go on the ends. Tonight I airbrush wings and skirt fabrics with butterfly markings.

Cindy and I talked about how many costumes I've made that I never thought to take pictures of or was too rushed to do them. Maybe some will turn up in someones archives somewhere.